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One Good Hand by Rowan McBride
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Ace is a professional gambler. He plays for the sake of play and also for money. But one night he didn't win money but a man. A man without name, a man that his previous master holds like a thing, not a man. He calls him Spade.

After some day of acquitance, Ace and Spade slip in a quite and happy life, but something strange is happening: Spade is changing phisically, and he step by step is becoming the dream lover of Ace. So finally he has to admit that he is not human, he is a Senai, a genetically engineered servant. He is a manufact by an alien planet, Kaznian, and he crashed on Earth fourteen years before. He changes to satisfy his master's desires and he only wants what his master wants. Plus he depends from his master to live, if he remains without a master, he will die.

Ace is shocked, he thinks that all Space has said was a lie, all the love and the care, only lie. He can't feel something for someone who is not even human. But love has strange form and you can't choose who love; but Spade yes, he can: he can't choose who obey to, but he can choose who love. And he has choose to love Ace, and so Ace will be the... Ace of Spade.

Spade is a particular character: even if he is not the "master" in the relationship, he is the stronger character. He is the strenght of Ace. Ace is quite naive and fragile: he is 26 year old, but he seems a lot younger; he needs a paternal figure in his life, he needs love and caring.

The initial idea is quite similar to True, always by Rowan McBride: but while in True the weak character was the alien being, here it is the human. This is a little longer and maybe less tender. But it is still a good story.
  elisa.rolle | Dec 25, 2007 |
Ace is one of the best poker players around. He plays for money, but has no real purpose in life. He nearly lost everything to a rival, and lover. Then he wins Spade in a game - and he becomes everything Ace could want, literally. Spade is genetically engineered to please his master. Ace finds himself falling for Spade, but will he risk him in a game with his ex-lover? Great scifi story. ( )
  jshillingford | Jul 17, 2007 |
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